Originally created 12/29/96

Photos of the year

The photography staff of The Augusta Chronicle selected these images as their best and most significant photos of 1996.

Augusta Christian's Gavin Harison scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch to give the Lions the Georgia Independent School Association's class AAA state championship in May.

"This was probably one of the most exciting baseball games I've ever been to - professional games included," said photographer Steve Shelton.

"With Harison on base, I knew this could be the winning run so I positioned myself opposite the Lions' dugout should a run be scored and this picture unfold.

Luck was on my side when Harison ran on the wild pitch. The bench immediately cleared and I had my picture."

U.S. gymnast Keri Strug is carried off the floor at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta after injuring her ankle during the final vault of the women's team finals.

The vault helped the team win the gold medal.

"As soon as she was injured, I knew I had to move in and do whatever it took to get a shot," said photographer Bob Rives.

"This was a huge story, Olympic history. Things happened really fast: I set the camera on automatic focus, pushed into the sea of photographers, and squeezed off about five frames with the camera above my head before being knocked out of the way by Olympic security.

I didn't know if I had anything until I looked at the film hours later."

James Richard, 5, gets a hug from his mother, Tammy Strickland, the day the two were reunited after James was kidnapped.

Mrs. Strickland's car was stolen in front of the Shoney's Restaurant on Whiskey Road at about 5 a.m. on Feb. 8 as James slept inside.

The car was found abandoned about two hours later with James still asleep in the back seat.

Photographer Ron Cockerille said the emotion that the two expressed about being back together is what makes this one of his favorite photos.

Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich meditates for a moment with a pair of aides before speaking at a July fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel Augusta.

Before Mr. Gingrich was introduced, there was a moment of prayer, said photographer Michael Holahan.

"I like this picture because it shows Newt in a genuine moment."

He's usually really animated and playing to the cameras. He forgot the camera was there and was being himself."

Photographer Natalee Waters took this photo of James Harris, 38, an HIV-positive inmate at Augusta State Medical Prison in Grovetown.

An article in August focused on the care of 13 such inmates at the medical prison. Maintaining security and disciplining prisoners while at the same time providing health care and compassion is a difficult balancing act, prison officials said.

Photo editor Steven Schretzmann took this photo.

"I was shooting pictures with a slow shutter speed along the sidelines of the first ever Greenbrier High School varsity football game. As players regrouped on the field, I put a long telephoto lens on the camera and began shooting the game.

Quickly realizing the shutter speed was way too slow to stop the action, I thought I had made a terrible mistake.

The lucky accident turned into on of my favorite football pictures.

The slow shutter speed created a blur around a Hephzibah player gaining yardage against Greenbrier."


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